this thread is for any poorly thought out game mechanics introduced in Anno 1404, just for the sake of change, or not yet improved since 1701. minor elements of preference need not apply, if it doesn't affect gameplay then it's not much of a concern here. we can all see that Blue Byte has done a great job of porting over all the pretty colors from Settlers 6 and more. what "new" things has Related Designs created to make it annoying instead of fun? not assuming they had all the say in these decisions, just that they would be responsible since sunflowers/ubisoft are acting as publishers (allegedly).
corsairs - pirates are mean! let's make them slightly less mean, but really annoying instead. you can defend yourself, but attacking is too hard! solve the situation with money. until Hassan feels like taking your money and then cancelling your treaty. repeat ad nauseum until you have destroyed an arbitrary number of ships, or paid him an exhorbitant amount of gold, that you could have used for your own warships. and then you'll be friends! but until then, there's nothing you can do about it, just pay up.
espionage - ah memories of blowing up the warehouses of your friends, as you buddy up to their profits. apparently this element of the game is too complicated for humans, only computers are capable of this mind boggling aspect of game theory and military intelligence. but humans since childhood have been training for "Where's Waldo?". looking for spies that you cannot recruit is much more fun than sending them out yourself. or maybe they just went the corsair route?
norias and mines - ok let's get rid of research, so we can introduce more interesting ways of replenishing resources and upgrades. or, we can just solve it with money! water's gone, buy more water. ore is out, alchemy can turn gold into iron. no more stone! fill the quarries with gold. what happens if you miss this message? watch your economy fall apart. but it's fun to click things! even if we have to do it over and over again.
locked structures - what am I building all these houses for? who knows! you'll find out after you build them, planning in advance is too complicated. why show the user all these buildings they can't build yet, who doesn't like surprises? but hey even they know that players need goals, so let's see what we can build for just a few more houses. too much grey could be confusing! or just play until you can memorise them all?
warehouse items - RD has made it pretty clear that school is for chumps, let's buy all of our technology. but money can't solve everything... let's use a different type of currency. what if we don't see something we want? buy it and then throw it away! something else will appear if you can afford it. because showing more than 3 items presents an overwhelming amount of choice that our fragile little minds simply cannot handle.
mission rewards - go fetch these crates all the way on the other side of the ocean over there. after that, you can go destroy this fleet of warships for me. but what do we get out of it? who knows! you'll find out after you run this random errand, even if it's 30 tons of flour. or you can accept it, and then ignore the mission. you must appreciate this, because your mills could not possibly convert wheat into flour with such efficiency.
this is what I can think of so far. I have to admit I have not played much warfare in the game besides navy, so I have not really seen much of what they have done besides the <STRIKE>tutorial</STRIKE> campaign. feel free to add any more blatant lack of imagination or annoying mechanics that really have no good reason to exist, or ideas on how they could have been done otherwise. maybe the devs just need some input from the user's perspective. since they may be totally stuck on ideas for patches and expansions?
we do this because we love it, otherwise who would bother to gripe about a game not worth playing. let's not mention mp, it didn't make it into this version and that's that, this we can only hope for in the future.